While taking an elevator inside the Emerald Princess cruise ship to meet Executive and celebrity chef Curtis Stone, I was impressed with his newer restaurant at sea SHARE up on the top deck. Taking a tour before lunch, I admired the restaurant’s private dining room filled with photos of Stone with his family on the walls, and his best selling cookbooks on the shelves. What drew me near the back of the elegant room was a framed handwritten in crayon recipe of his grandmother Maude’s Orange Cake. She inspired Stone to become a chef while growing up in Australia.
Not only is Curtis Stone an award-winning chef, restaurateur and author, but also a popular television personality. He improved his culinary skills working at Michelin-starred restaurants in London.
Before sitting down to enjoy an exquisite six-course lunch, I had the opportunity to meet Gordon Ho, the head of Marketing and Sales for Princess Cruises. He shared with me how Princess Cruises and Curtis Stone collaborated together to open SHARE. “We have three SHARE by Curtis Stone restaurants. One on Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess and Sun Princess,” Ho said.
In 2014 when Stone opened his first solo restaurant in Beverly Hills, he named it Maude to honor his grandmother. Soon the fine dining destination was the talk of the town. Ho dined there one night for a multicourse meal and had an epiphany to replicate a similar multi-sensory experience on Princess Cruises. When he reached out to Chef Stone about the idea, Stone embraced the concept and met with the talented Princess Cruises culinary team. They chose the name of the restaurant based on Stone’s philosophy of sharing food and conversation with family and good friends. “He believes it’s the best way to eat,” Ho said. “Passing plates amongst each other creates meaningful connections. Passengers refect with loved ones and new friends about their adventures of the day.”
SHARE by Curtis Stone has become a big draw onboard for foodies seeking elevated dishes. It’s a special celebration venue, where travelers can experience the finest produce, ultra-premium meats, seafood and desserts that are beautifully presented and served.
The curated SHARE menu offers cruise passengers a choice of appetizers, salads, pasta, dishes inspired by the sea, plates with ingredients from the land and a choice of desserts. The day I dined, my appetizer was a charcuterie plate with an Italian specialty called Nduja. It’s a slightly spicy, spreadable prosciutto enhanced with chilies. It’s to be enjoyed on slices of freshly baked bread. There was also thinly sliced duck speck and a few green olives and mustard seeds almost the size of pearls.
The salad course was a saltwater amberjack that was sliced thin and quick cured with lime. It was served with a drop of avocado puree and shredded almonds on top. For the pasta dish, Stone and his team made a heavenly ricotta Cavatelli with flash fried brussels sprouts leaves, pickled bright red beets and roasted sunchokes.
The soup of the day arrived with Madeira creme fraiche, chopped fennel and minced shallot confit in a bowl. Our server poured a burnt sienna colored lobster bisque into the bowl featuring pieces of fresh quick-seared lobster tail chunks. Afterward, our server brought the main course of a roasted double bone Duroc pork rack with the jus of mustard drizzled on top. The plate of sliced pork and a chop was served with broccoli puree and confit of rainbow colored carrots.
To finish out the meal, we all received a slice of decadent toffee cheesecake, plump raisins, macerated grapes in a red wine sauce and crunchy dried apple chips as a garnish.
For those with dietary restrictions, Stone and his team make a vegetarian-friendly menu for passengers. Other Princess cruise ships offer a Crafted by Curtis Stone menu in the Main Dining Room. International flavors include classic Spanish steamed mussels with chorizo and white wine. Beef tenderloin tips and mushroom cobbler topped with Gruyere biscuits, or a roasted chicken and sauteed leek pot pie topped with a flakey pastry crust. Other delicious meat entrees include a roasted pork belly with handmade applesauce, crispy roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach offering vibrant and bold flavors.
On land, Stone opened a second restaurant in the Los Angeles area, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant located in Hollywood, CA. While running all three restaurant concepts, Stone also appears on numerous top-rated culinary shows including Take Home Chef (TLC), Top Chef Masters (Bravo), and Food Network’s All-Star Academy. His cookbooks including his most recent – Good Food, Good Life are bestsellers.
To book a reservation on Princess Cruises and enjoy a supplemental fee meal at SHARE by Curtis Stone, go to www.princess.com.